Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Vatican Newspaper Provides Obama's 2012 Campaign Message

Some more concern over L'Osservatore Romano's inaccurate representation of Obama's position on life issues, from Deal Hudson. See also May 26th post, "Catholic Culture Insights: 05/26/2009 - L'Osservatore รจ Cieco."

Inside Catholic
by Deal W. Hudson

The 2012 Obama campaign message to Catholics has already been written. Here it is, conveniently laid out by the official Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, and its editor, Giovanni Maria Vian:

"[President Obama] is not a pro-abortion president." -- Giovanni Maria Vian, in an interview with a Vatican analyst from the Italian daily Il Riformista

"The president invited Americans of every faith and ideological conviction to 'work in common effort' to reduce the number of abortions." -- L'Osservatore Romano, on President Obama's May 13, 2009, speech at the University of Notre Dame

For President Obama's Catholic outreach effort, this is a dream come true. Obama's Catholic advisers have received a virtual Vatican imprimatur on his abortion reduction message to Catholics. The Obama campaign, the Democratic National Committee, Catholics United, and Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good will trumpet this message loudly and in unison.

It doesn't matter that not everything published in L'Osservatore Romano represents the official position of the Vatican. That is a distinction that 99.9 percent of Catholic voters will neither know nor grasp. All that will matter on the ground is that the Vatican newspaper and its editor have confirmed what Obama's Catholic supporters have claimed all along: Obama seeks a "common ground on abortion," avoids harsh polemics, prudently seeks to "reduce abortions," and cannot therefore be called "pro-abortion."

The subliminal suggestion will be: The Vatican believes this, so why not you? This is how smart political campaigns use the media -- especially media with an authoritative and respected voice. And what's more authoritative and trustworthy to Catholics than the Vatican newspaper?

Thus far, there have been no statements from any Vatican official explaining that neither its newspaper commentary on Obama nor its editors should be treated as the official voice of the Vatican or the Holy Father.

Meanwhile, there have been two articles in L'Osservatore Romano over the past few days that acknowledge, for the first time, the U.S. bishops' criticism of Obama's appearance at Notre Dame. The second article also contained criticism from Francis Cardinal George of Obama's decision to rescind the conscience protection laws for medical care personnel, and from Msgr. David Malloy, General Secretary of the USCCB, on Obama's move to enlarge the scope of federally funded fetal stem cell research.


Post a Comment

<< Home